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What Does the Bible Say about Climate Change?

Climate change is not discussed in the Bible, but believers are given facts in the world, however, it is right for us to take care of the planet and do what we can to help the earth — as God’s good stewards.

Contributing Writer
Sep 09, 2021
What Does the Bible Say about Climate Change?

Global warming is a huge phenomenon going on in the modern-day. Many people debate whether global warming is happening or not. The Bible does not specifically talk about climate change global warming; however, the Bible does tell us the world will eventually be burned in fire (2 Peter 3:7).

2 Peter 3:10 informs us, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.”

What Is the Difference Between Climate Change and Global Warming?

It is worthwhile to mention that global warming is distinct from climate change. Climate change and global warming are not the same issues. According to NASA, climate change, “encompasses global warming, but refers to the broader range of changes that are happening to our planet, including rising sea levels; shrinking mountain glaciers; accelerating ice melt in Greenland, Antarctica and the Arctic; and shifts in flower/plant blooming times.”  

Likewise, NASA describes global warming as “the long-term heating of the Earth’s climate system observed since the pre-industrial period (between 1850 and 1900) due to human activities, primarily fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in the Earth’s atmosphere.”

From this definition, it is mankind’s fault that we are experiencing global warming today. People are divided on whether or not it is mankind’s fault that we are experiencing global warming and as noted earlier, many people deny we are experiencing global warming at all.

Nonetheless, it is important for all people to take care of the environment as God has given us dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:26-28). Since God has given us this great responsibility and privilege, we do need to care about the way we treat the environment.

Activities, such as recycling, cutting down on fossil fuels, and simply buying energy-saving light bulbs are small ways to help take care of the environment.

Should Climate Change Matter to Believers?

Whether we are experiencing global warming or not is up for debate; however, it is crucial that believers do not divide themselves over this topic. God wants the body of believers to be unified.

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought (1 Corinthians 1:10).

Each person can have their own opinion, but we must not condemn a believer if they believe in global warming, nor should we condemn someone if they do not believe in global warming. Factions, discord, and disorder are not in God’s will for His children. Whether you believe in global warming or not, do not look down upon those who have the opposite opinion from yourself.

Scientists have studied the planet and the surrounding atmosphere, which is why we should respect their work and hear what they have to say. Science attests to God, as God is the One who invented science. 

Many believers believe you have to choose God or science; however, God is compatible with science because God invented every atom, molecule, and chromosome. You can respect science and still be a believer. In any case, we must obey God and He tells us to be a good steward of all He has given us.

“The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” (Matthew 25:20-21).

Is Global Warming the Destruction of the Earth in the Bible?

Whether a person believes in global warming or not, the Bible does tell us the world will be destroyed by fire (2 Peter 3:7-10). Logically, this would mean the earth will continue to get hotter and hotter until the destruction of the planet. The Bible tells us that the destruction of the world is going to be within God’s plan.

God will destroy the present earth because He is going to make a new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1-5). The present earth we are standing on today will not exist forever. It is our responsibility as creations of God to care for this planet in the best way we can.

The complete destruction of planet earth will happen after the Rapture of the Church, the Great Tribulation, the Second Coming of Christ, and the Millennium. However, during the seven-year Tribulation, the world will slowly be destroyed through the various bowl judgments (Revelation 16:3-5, 16:12).

After the 1,000-year reign of Christ, God will destroy the earth in fire, and He will create the New Heaven and New Earth. The New Heaven and New Earth will be a place of perfection, happiness, and joy in the Lord. There will be no more fear, crying, or pain.

“‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

Why Does Climate Change Matter?

Global warming is not discussed in the Bible, but believers are given facts in the world, such as rising temperatures, melting ice caps, increased drought, increased wildfires, and increased health problems from the rise of temperatures in urban cities.

Whether a believer chooses to believe in global warming is up to them personally. What we are told in the Bible is that all mankind is to be good stewards of God’s creation as the entire world is His, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;” (Psalm 24:1).

Since God has entrusted the earth to us, it is right for us to take care of the planet and do what we can to help the earth. We are not in control of the planet; however, we can make changes in our everyday life to show God we are being good stewards of what He has given us.

The Bible tells us the earth will be destroyed by fire in the future, which would align with global warming. It could be the present crises we are experiencing with the rising heat could be the beginning of the birth pangs Jesus talked about during His earthly ministry (Matthew 24:8).

As for the immediate time, believers should strive after unity, practice good stewardship, and look forward to the day when God will make everything new.

For further reading:

What Does the Bible Say about the New Heaven and the New Earth?

What Does the Bible Say about the End of the World?

What Does 'The Earth Is the Lord's' Mean in Psalm 24?

What Is the Creation Story in the Bible?

What Is God’s Creation? How Are Christians Supposed to Care for It?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/angkhan

Vivian BrickerVivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.

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